Visual Arts

Junior Art: 3rd and 4th Forms

Third form Art is compulsory. Learning about art teaches us how to analyse, empathise, transform, imagine, communicate and think creatively.

Fourth form Art is optional. We concentrate on developing the boys’ skills in drawing, painting and sculpturing, problem solving and understanding concepts and processes.

NCEA Level

We offer 3 Achievement Standards, (two internal and one external). Students must produce a workbook showing understanding and skills leading up to finished work.

NCEA Level 2: Visual Art, Design, Photography

Students must achieve 14 credits from Level 1 Visual Art to gain automatic entry to these courses.

Visual Art: The year is divided into two. First half all students produce a painting and a sculpture. This is teacher-led. Second half the students must choose either painting or sculpture. This is student-led. (Students choose Artist models, theme or issue.)

Design: Students learn to analyse, think creatively, problem solve and design a range of products.

Photography: Through the study of photographic techniques and Artist models students learn to generate and develop their own artwork using digital media.

NCEA Level 3: Design, Painting, Photography and Sculpture

Students must achieve 18 credits from Level 2 Visual Art, Design or Photography to gain automatic entry to these courses.

Design: Through the study of Artist models, contemporary ideas and materials and sequential workings students must find creative and innovative solutions to a given brief.

Painting: After studying and analysing Artists models the students develop their own style and produce original work.

Photography: Through the study of photographic techniques and Artist models students learn to generate and develop their own artwork using digital media.

Sculpture: Students learn to analyse, organise, think creatively and produce work in 3 dimensions.

Level 3 Art History

 Why study art history? The visual arts are among the oldest and most important means for humans to communicate and express their experiences, beliefs, desires and feelings. The study of the history of art allows you to enlarge your world view by gaining an understanding of why different cultures at different times created works of art that fascinate, perplex, challenge and delight. In order to place a work of art into its historical context, you will also learn about history, literature, philosophy and religion.

The foundation in liberal arts and humanities that art history provides is essential to becoming a life-long learner and educated global citizen. As an art history student, you will also gain skills necessary to compete successfully in today’s changing job market. Classes promote skills in critical inquiry and the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Research and creative projects enhance problem-solving skills. Potential careers open to art history majors include teaching, research, art administration, art writing/criticism, museum/gallery professions, and communication and media fields.

At Westlake Boys’ High School, Art History is offered at Level 3 and focuses on Italian Renaissance Painting and Sculpture. The works of the ‘Great Masters’- Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael- will be covered.

Art History at Westlake Boys High School offers 21 AS credits- 8 internal and 13 external.

For additional course information contact:

Miss Chloe Harland
Teacher in charge of Art History


StaffDavid Squire, Warwick Robinson and Hayley Barker

  • Mr Warwick Robinson (HoD, Director of Co-Curricular Music) – middle
  • Miss Hayley Barker (AHoD, Director of Itinerant Music) – right
  • Mr David Squire (Performance Music Specialist) – left

There are 3 ways in which year 9 students can take music at WBHS:

  • Core music
  • Option Music
  • Music Institute.


  • CORE MUSIC: Every student in year 9 at Westlake Boys High School will participate in a 10 week course in the technology cycle called “Core Music”. This course is a basic introduction to music, covering simple rhythmic concepts, writing and composing simple rhythms in groups, inputting music into a computer program, thinking about how music affects our lives and learning some important musical terminology. Core Music is a short taster or introduction course for music at Westlake Boys. It runs only during year 9.


  • OPTION MUSIC: Boys who have a more serious interest in music can choose to take it as a full-year option; this is called Option Music. Option music is suitable for boys who want to broaden and deepen their musical experience and are already learning an instrument. Boys will learn composition, theory, performance, ear training and the history of music. Option music classes are also streamed, so they can cater for beginners, developing musicians and advancing musicians. This class is more advanced than Core Music. If you would like to enroll in this course, you MUST make sure it is one of your option choices. Option music runs for the whole of year 9 and then can be continued at year 10 level.


  • MUSIC INSTITUTE: Students who are enrolled in Option Music are all given a music-entrance-test and audition during class at the beginning of the year. Boys who perform well in this test are given the option of joining the Music Institute. This advanced class is a full year enrichment version of Option Music, designed to give students the opportunity to challenge and extend themselves in areas of performance and composition. Entrance to Music Institute is by audition & entrance test, and is only open to students taking Option Music. If you would like to be considered for this course, you MUST make sure that Music is one of your option choices. Music Institute runs for the whole of year 9 and then can be continued at year 10 level.


The primary goal of the Music Institute at Westlake Boys is to further develop the cultural life of the school and to offer more advanced opportunities for our most talented musicians.

The emphasis of the course is on enriching the already advanced performance capabilities of the selected junior music students. The history, theory, aural and composition aspects of the course grow out of the needs of the Performance work. It is presumed that students accepted for this course will already be in advance of their cohort in performance, theory and aural ability – because of their musical experience prior to attending High School. It is also necessary for the Music Institute boys to be independent learners – as a great deal of the course relies on individual, self-directed challenge.


Year 8 students wishing to have music for a year-long course, must complete the Music Application form at enrolment. From the detailed information on this application form, the students are divided into Music Option and Music Institute groups for the following year. However, at the beginning of Year 9 Westlake, all music Option and Institute students will be given a short Performance audition and a theory/aural test, so that we can confirm their placement in the course most appropriate for their ability.

N.B. there is free entry to the Music Option course – regardless of levels of previous musical experience.


Westlake Boys has an extensive and very successful co-curricular music programme. There are over 14 Performance Music Groups which the students are encouraged to become involved in. Institute Students are encouraged to ‘get their music out of the bedroom’ and to share their playing with others (see Music Groups).

Music Dep